By "history," I do not mean to insist on the
traditional criterion of written records. Indeed, many of Cayce's favorite
"time-culture slots" (to resort to a Meltonism) are otherwise
unknown. For Cayce, history is the story of souls being led to spiritual
perspectives over the course of multiple incarnations. This is a group process
and an individual since human relationships (and ultimately, events in history)
are part of the teaching process through which these perspectives are imparted.
Just as the Old Testament records God's guidance of the Israelites to a higher
purpose, so do the readings record a similar process which begins with the
first incarnations into the earth plane, meanders through the fall of Atlantis
and the corresponding rise of ancient Egypt and Central America- and culminates
in the life of Jesus. History and metaphysics blur together in the Cayce
readings if we go back far enough (e.g., to creation), delve deeply enough
(e.g., to the mechanisms of reincarnation and clairvoyance which underlie the
entire process), or focus on the example of Jesus (who is the subject of the
A. Earth Changes
Geological cataclysms are a recurring theme in the Cayce readings, and in this area, the most important influence on him appears to be Madame Blavatsky. According to Cayce, the geography of the world has changed markedly since the dawn of humanity:
In giving such in an understanding manner to the man of today, [it is] necessary that the conditions of the earth's surface and the position of man in the earth's plane be understood, for the change has often come since this period, era, age of man's earthly indwelling, for then at that period, only the lands were now known as the Sahara and the Nile region appeared on the African shores; that in Tibet Mongolia, Caucasia, and Norway in Asia and Europe; that in the southern cordilleras and Peru in the Southwestern hemisphere and the plane of now Utah. Arizona, Mexico of the North-western hemisphere, and the spheres were then in the latitudes much as are presented at present.
The man's indwelling in the Sahara and the upper Nile regions, the waters entering the now Atlantic from the Nile region rather than flowing northward. The waters in the Tibet and Caucasian regions entering the North Sea, those in Mongolia entering the South Seas, those in the cordilleras entering the Northern Seas.
When the earth brought forth the seed in her season, a man came 'in the earth plane as lord of that in that sphere; a man appeared in five places at once--the five senses, the five reasons, the five spheres, the five developments, the five nations.
The period in the world's existence from the present time being ten and one-half million (10,500,000) years. [5748-1]
Several nineteenth-century geologists had wrestled with what geological forces could explain such massive structures as mountain ranges and canyons in 1812. Georges Cuvier presented a theory known as "catastrophism" in which sudden earth changes (e.,-. earthquakes, floods) result in the periodic extinction of plant and animal life and the creation of new species. The chief advantage of catastrophism was its consistency with the biblical account of the Noachian deluge and the earth's age as calculated by Bishop Ussher. The contrary view, "uniformitarianism," teaches that mountains and canyons are formed slowly, over aeons James Hutton first used the term in 1788 and with the publication of Charles Lyell's
Principles of Geology in 1830, the theory became the scholarly consensus. A further distinction should be made between Lyell's "gradualist" uniformitarianism (which held that the rate of geologic change remains constant) and the "actualist" school of James Dana (1873), which allows for localized catastrophes. Still, others (e.g., Airy, Suess, Taylor) tried to map the collision and break-up of prehistoric continents a line of research that eventually led to Alfred Wegener’s 1915 theory of continental drift. Not everyone, however, was prepared to reject catastrophism or the ancient myths which it supported. Among the holdouts was Madame Blavatsky. According to The Secret Doctrine, each root race has arisen on a different continent, respectively, "the Imperishable Sacred Land," Hyperborea, Lemuria, Atlantis, and Europe. (283) Note, however that in The Secret Doctrine, the root-races are separated temporally, not merely geographically. Like Cayce (5748-1), Blavatsky links the five root-races with the five senses. (284) As for the subraces, Blavatsky elsewhere alludes to a yellow Adam, a red Adam, and so on. (285)
For Cayce, catastrophic earth changes are not limited to the distant past--on the contrary, we may expect more of them soon:
As to the physical changes again: The earth will be
broken up in the western portion of America. The greater portion of Japan must
go into the sea. The upper portion of Europe will be changed as in the
twinkling of an eye. The land will appear off the east coast of America. There
will be the upheavals in the Arctic and in the Antarctic that will make for the
eruption of volcanoes in the Torrid areas, and there will be shifting then of
the poles--so that where there has been those of a frigid or semi-tropical will
become the more tropical, and moss and fern will grow. And these will begin in
those periods from '58 to '98 when these will be proclaimed as the periods when
His light will be seen again in the clouds.
According to Cayce, around 2000 to 2001, a shifting of
the earth's poles will occur (826-8), which signals the dawn of a new age. (It
is unclear whether the magnetic or geographic pole is meant--Cayce appears to
conflate the two.) The notion of a pole shift originated with the geologist
Loeffelholz von Colberg, whose 1895 paper "Die Drehung der
Erdkruste in geologische Zeitraunen" presented evidence of
crustal rotation, or polar wandering. No doubt, von Colberg was relieved to
hear that his theory had won the endorsement of Madame Blavatsky, who sees pole
shifts as milestones marking stages in spiritual evolution. (286)
B. Human Evolution
In answer to the debate over evolution, Cayce concedes that humans have evolved but stresses that "man was made a man" and certainly did not "descend from the monkey" (3744-5). Cayce means here to distinguish between the creation of the human soul and that of the physical body. Both evolve, in a sense, but human souls have always been distinct from those of animals. We originally fell from above rather than rising from below. The issue of physical evolution is more debatable--early incarnating souls appear to have taken proto-human bodies which had been formed for that purpose over a period of millions of years. Still, Cayce does not clarify how closely this process is intended to correspond to scientific notions of human origins.
Many of Cayce's ideas relating to humanity's physical evolution seem to have been inspired by Blavatsky. One inquirer was said to have lived "...in Atlantean land when there were the separation of bodies as male and female" (2121-2). The idea that humans were originally androgynous but later separated into male and female as found in Plato's Symposium (189c- 193d, where it is presented humorously), as well as in the Midrash for Genesis 5:2 ("male and female he created them"). The image of sexual union is an old alchemical one taken up by several Hermetic groups of the "proto-New Age." However, here the symbol is unitive rather than divisive- Axguing against Darwin--who in The Descent of Man considers, but rejects, the possibility of a hermaphroditic ancestor of modem vertebrates--Madame Blavatsky traces the separation of the sexes to the third root race. (287)
A word about Theosophical race theory is in order. The second half of The Secret Doctrine describes five "root-races" which have so far inhabited the earth: (1) an "etherial" (gaseous or jelly-like) race which reproduced by fission, through yoga, (2) an asexual race which reproduced by budding, (3) a hermaphroditic race whose offspring were "sweat-born." (4) a race of giants which reproduced sexually, and (5) the Aryan race. Each Round or epoch is characterized by the emergence of a new root-race. Now the races we know today are not rootraces, but sub-races of the Aryan root-race. (There are exceptions, however--the Australian aborigines are remnants of the previous root race; Plato and Confucius were representatives of a complete fifth-round humanity; and Buddha was an early manifestation of the sixth root-race.) Root-races are divided into a number of sub-races, the newer invariably dominating the older. Leadbeater adds that we are now living in the era of the Anglo-Saxon sub-race, perhaps forgetting that Madame Blavatsky was hardly an Anglo-Saxon. While Cayce does not explicitly endorse the Theosophical system of root-races, he appears to have copied freely from it, and on one occasion refers to the imminent rise of the "fifth root race" (5748-6), which according to Blavatsky arrived long ago.
Intriguingly, Cayce follows Blavatsky in holding that archaic human mated with animals, producing viable offspring. For Cayce, the practice originated with the first souls who became enmeshed in the material plane and was maintained by the more perverse among the archaic humans of Atlantis. Vestiges of animal characteristics persisted among their descendants until the rise of pre-dynastic Egypt under Ra Ta. At this time, a "Temple of Sacrifice" was constructed where these unfortunates could have such animal appendages surgically removed. These characteristics then disappeared in succeeding generations. (Note that Cayce's account assumes a Lamarckian view of heredity unless we suppose that some form of genetic engineering is meant.) This detail is anticipated in The Secret Doctrine:
In the initial period of man's Fourth evolution, the human kingdom branched off in several and various directions. The outward shape of its first specimens was not uniform, for the vehicles (the egg-like, external shells, in which the future fully physical man gestated) were often tampered with, before they hardened, by huge animals of species now unknown, and which belonged to the tentative efforts of nature. The result was that intermediate races of monsters, half animals, half men, were produced... [Later] the 'Egg-Born' sons had taken several of their females unto themselves as mates and bred other human monsters... Upon seeing this (state of things), the Kings and Lords of the Last Races. (of the Third and Fourth) placed the seal of prohibition upon the sinful intercourse. (288)
Blavatsky maintains that, contrary to the popular understanding of evolution. apes actually descended from man as the result of humans interbreeding with members of other species. (289)
Cayce's reference to five races corresponding to five
colors (red, yellow, black, white, and brown) originated with Johann
Blumenbach, who reduced the peoples of the world to five basic races
(Caucasoid, Ethiopic, Mongoloid, American, and Malay), and incidentally coined
the term "Caucasian" as a synonym for white people on the now-discredited
belief that white people originated in the Caucasus region. Cuvier narrowed the
list to three basic races (Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid). Today
anthropologists are more inclined to treat Australian aborigines, Central
African pygmies, and Southern African bushmen as independent races, although
the task of demarcating "races" (whether on biological or
sociological grounds) is widely conceded to be hugely problematic.
C. Atlantis, Lemuria, and Oz
The myth of Atlantis originated with two late Platonic dialogues. the Timaeus and the Critias. In the Timaeus, Socrates hears the story of Atlantis from Critias, to whom it had been passed down within the family from Solon (Critias' great-grandfather's brother), who in turn had heard it from a priest of Sais, Lower Egypt, while on a visit there. Here Atlantis is described as an "island --- larger than Libya and Asia together" (24E, Jowett translation), which had existed beyond the "Pillars of Hercules"(290) some nine thousand years before the time of the dialogue. At that time, the "real sea" was navigable, and ships could island-hop all the way across it.
... for this within the Straits is only a harbor, having a narrow entrance. but that other is the real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a continent. [25A]
Atlantis was ruled by a powerful federation of kings, whose military forces
had rule over the whole island and several other parts of the continent. Besides, these they subjected parts of Libya within the Straits as far as Egypt and Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. [25B]
Greece and Egypt remained unconquered, however, and an Athenian-led coalition eventually repulsed the Atlantean forces. Later, as the result of flooding and earthquakes, Atlantis "disappeared, and was sunk beneath the sea" (25D). Navigation in that part of the ocean was rendered impossible due to the large deposits of shoal mud created by the island as it sank.
The Critias describes the founding of Atlantis by the god Poseidon and his ten half-human sons (five pairs of twins). The eldest, Atlas, was made king over the rest, and it was from his name that the island came to be called "Atlantis" (literally, "of the daughters of Atlas"). This arrangement became hereditary so that the descendants of Atlas retained sovereignty over the descendants of the other nine brothers. Under their rule, the island grew prosperous as a trade center (metals, timber, game. elephants, fruits, and vegetables are listed as important local products), and as a result, was able to build ornate palaces, temples, harbors, docks, and bridges. The main city of Atlantis consisted of a low mountain in the middle of fertile rectangular plain hundreds of miles in area, surrounded by alternating circles of land and sea. There were many gardens, and a hippodrome was located along the central island's periphery. Atop the hill stood the royal palace. In the center of the palace was a temple to Poseidon covered with silver and gold, at a site where Poseidon had created two springs--one of them flowing with warm water, the other with cold. A pillar inscribed with the laws of Atlantis was located there as well, along with golden tablets bearing the texts of oaths and judgments. Assemblies were held there every fifth or sixth year, and bull sacrifices were conducted within the sacred precincts. Eventually, however, the people of Atlantis lapsed into decadence. Zeus has just resolved to chasten them when the dialogue ends, unfinished.
As we described most likely Plato meant his Atlantis as an allegory or/and some form of political commentary. Furthermore, even if we assume Plato to have been relating an authentic family tradition (Critias being his great-grandfather), we would then have to consider the reliability of Solon, his Egyptian informant, the translators, and possibly many other links in the chain of transmission who remain unknown to us. As it stands, the story is inherently implausible. No evidence of a high civilization from the tenth Millennium B.C. exists anywhere as it should if the trade had existed between Atlantis and the various Mediterranean peoples. In any case, Greece was far too sparsely populated in this period to have led the defensive forces described in the Timaeus. Furthermore, the sudden disappearance of a continent-sized landmass makes no sense in light of our present understanding of geology. One promising possibility is that the Platonic accounts of Atlantis represent a distorted memory of real historical events, but that the island's size and antiquity have been exaggerated by a factor of ten. On this reasoning, scholars have proposed several Bronze Age sites (e.g., Them Sicily. Crete) as the "real" Atlantis. My favorite theory sees the fall of Atlantis as a garbled account of the fall of Troy. (291)
For our purposes, the next important development of the Atlantis myth is Ignatius T. T. Donnelly's magnum opus, Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882). Besides this work, Donnelly (18311901)also wrote The Great Cryptogram (1888)and The Cipher In the Plays and On the Tombstone (1899), which argue for the Baconian authorship of Shakespeare's plays; Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel (1883), in which he traces the Ice Age to a catastrophic comet strike: and several futuristic utopian novels advocating such radical ideas as universal education and women's suffrage. One of these, Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century (1891), speculates about a Jewish plot to control world finance and anticipates the invention of the radio, television, and poison gas. Amazingly, Donnelly also served in the U.S. Congress (R-NN) between 1863 and 1871, where he took advantage of his Library of Congress privileges to research his books. Later in life, he even ran for vice president under the Middle Road Populist banner.
In Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Donnelly accepts the Platonic accounts as historically true but elaborates on them considerably. As the subtitle indicates, he believes that myths of a great flood from both sides of the Atlantic represent dim memories of the sinking of Atlantis. It was on Atlantis that human civilization first arose. Our legends of the Garden of Eden, the Elysian Fields, and other happy lands hearken back to this formative period in our past. Survivors of Atlantis peopled lands ranging from Egypt to Central America. According to Donnelly, this explains a host of pan-Atlantic cultural and linguistic similarities ranging from the observation that both sides have pyramids to the fact that the root atl. is related to water in both the old world (e.g., "Atlantic") and the new (chocolate). The religion of Atlantis centered around sun-worship (Cayce agrees-cf. 4543-2). Our myths of gods and goddesses are often garbled stories of the kings, queens, and heroes of Atlantis. (Cayce follows the same euhemeristic principle 'in the context of his account of Ra Ta and Isris, better known as Ra and Isis).
After Donnelly, the next important development of the Atlantis myth came from Theosophy, which made the continent the birthplace of the fourth root race. Apart from The Secret Doctrine, W. Scott-Elliot's The Story of Atlantis (1896)is the classic Theosophical treatment. Scott-Elliot states that Atlantean society achieved a high level of technology. including primitive airships propelled by a form of free energy called "vril" (a word taken from Bulwer-Lytton's novel, The Coming Race), which is also an important aspect of Nazi occultism during the late 193o's or early forties. This is evidence by Willy Ley a German rocket engineer who had emigrated to the United States in 1937, in 1947 published an article entitled "Pseudoscience in Naziland" where he wrote that the high popularity of irrational convictions in Germany at that time explained how National Socialism could have fallen on such fertile ground. Among other pseudo-scientific groups, he mentions one that looked for the Vril. Whereby during the late 1950's early 1960's this was again re-invented by neo-Nazi's like Ernst Zundel, Wilhelm Landig, and Rudolf J. Mund, who argued that Nazis invented flying saucers had taken their breakthrough technology to bases deep under the South Pole including the inventions of Erich von Däniken whose origins were recently explored by the American History Channel has a series titled "Ancient Aliens" that claims to explore the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years from the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt and present what as we will see can best be described as a sensationalized bricolage, a series which then ultimately transformed in the recent call for UFO's.
Apart from pulp fiction which, as we described, also led to Scientology, there is an earlier precursor that also might have inspired the ancient astronaut theory first popularized by the "Occult Science" of H.P. Blavatsky, who wrote in her widely sold book "The Secret Doctrine" (which claimed to reveal "the origin and evolution of the universe and humanity itself") that already during the time of "Atlantis" there were flying machines and that knowledge of such machines "was passed on" to later generations in India. Similarly, the founder of today's top-rated Waldorf schools Rudolf Steiner, also claimed that the Atlanteans had aircraft that had steering mechanisms by which they could rise above mountain ranges.
In the perpetual motion milieu, frauds who have appealed to occultist thinking have abounded. For example, from 1873 until he died in 1898, John E. W. Keely of Philadelphia promoted a mysterious motor that ran on "etheric force" derived from the "disintegration of water." He raised millions from financiers and the public for his company on the strength of his demonstrations of such phenomena as musical notes causing weights to rise and fall. Of these performances, which had a kinship to séances, he remarked, "I am always a good deal disturbed when I begin one of these exhibitions, for sometimes if an unsympathetic person is present, the machines will not work." Theosophists of the age admired him for combining "the intuitions of the seer with the practical knowledge of mechanics."
Rudolf Steiner firmly believed in and confirmed his own so-called clairvoyance the reality of the Keely phenomena to next claim to e able to duplicate Keely through his own Claivoyantly as described in the article "From the Keely engine to the Strader machine. Except as Wouter Hannegraaf clearly demonstrated, Steiner's clairvoyance was based on 'imaginative fantasy.'
It was not until after Keely's death that it was determined that his devices relied on hidden tubes conveying pressurized air.
(292)But Cayce similarly to Blavatsky and Steiner, credits Atlantis with flying machines (2437-1) and something like free energy (2124-3, 2562-1). Scott-Elliot also holds that before their destruction, the Atlanteans had misused their formidable psychic and occult knowledge. (293) Like Cayce, he describes Atlantean politics as centered around a rivalry between two factions, which was carried over into Egypt. (294) The pyramids, he says (like Cayce later), were halls of initiation built by Atlantean refugees. (295) Other refugees settled the Basque country, thereby accounting for the fact that the Basque language is unrelated to other European tongues.#&important aspect of Nazi occultism& zu:
Cayce's version of Atlantis is similar to Theosophy's. Civilization originated as the result of the cooperative efforts of archaic humans to defend themselves against
... enormous animals which overran the earth, but ice, the entity found, nature, God, changed the poles and the animals were destroyed, though man attempted it (destroying the animals] in that activity of the meetings. [5249-]
Dinosaur fossils had first been discovered in large numbers in England during the 1820s and were finally recognized for what they were by Richard Owen in 1941 (who coined the term "dinosaur"). The fossils created quite a sensation--not only on their own merits but also for their implications for traditional Christian conceptions of the history of the world.
According to the Cayce readings, the development of increasingly sophisticated weapons for use against the giant beasts inspired a prehistoric arms race, as humans began to turn these armaments against one another. Atlantis thereafter rose to great technological heights. rivaling the achievements of our own civilization:
...the entity dwelt among those where there was the storage, as it were, of the MOTIVATIVE forces 'in nature from the great crystals that so condensed the lights, the forms, the activities as to guide not only the ship upon the bosom of the sea but in the air and many of those now known conveniences for man as in the transmission of the body, as in the transmission of the voice, as in the recording of those activities in what is soon to become a practical thing in so creating the vibrations as to make for television-as termed in the present. [813-1]
The reader will recall that Cayce's generation saw numerous scientific and technological advances. Including the invention of the typewriter, electric light, cash register, the automobile, dirigible, the sewing machine, phonograph, the radio, the telephone, the airplane, motion the picture camera, and the modern bicycle to name only a dozen of the most familiar. Cayce's Atlantis reflects the technological advances as well as the social turmoil of his times.
As Atlantean society grew more and more decadent, it became increasingly polarized between two competing factions, the Sons of the Law of One (the good guys) and the Sons of Belial (the bad guys). The Law of One is difficult to pin down but is apparently related to the Shema ("Hear O Israel…"). For Cayce, the Law of One extends beyond the mere recognition of monotheism to an awareness of the unity of all forces (262-52), all life (262-32), and all experience (3581-1). As corollaries, it commands inner unity of purpose (1770-2), recognition of the brotherhood of man (900-429), and even monogamy (826-6). Interestingly, Oliver's A Dweller On Two Planets (1899) refers to the Law of One in connection with Atlantis. (296) Although the context does not clarify exactly what the Law of One is, elsewhere that book refers to the One Energy or One Substance. (297)
The phrase "Sons of Belial" is found in the Bible (e.g., Deuteronomy 13:13). Cayce's Atlantean group by that name
... had no standard, save of self. Self-aggrandizement.... [But others believed] that the soul was given by the Creator or entered from outside sources NTO the projection of the MENTAL and spiritual self at the given periods. THAT was the standard of the Law of One but was REJECTED by the Sons of Belial. [877-26]
Theosophical lore sometimes refers to an order of evil Masters, which Blavatsky- calls the "'Brotherhood of the Shadow'-the murderers of their souls, the dread Dad-Dugpa clan." (298). The Brotherhood of the Shadow functions as a kind of counterweight to the Great White Brotherhood. The latter attempts to aid spiritual aspirants. The former tries to misdirect them down Spiritualism and tantra. Outside of Theosophy, other possible sources of inspiration for the two groups are the Faithists and Uzians from the Oahspe Gospel and the Nephites and Lamanites from the Book of Mormon. (299)
The dispute between the Sons of the Law of One and the Sons of Belial centered on the status of
...automatons, or THINGS, that individuals or groups
retained to do the labors of a household cultivate the fields or the like or
perform the activities of artisans or the like. And these were those activities
through which much of the disturbing forces grew to be factors to be reckoned
with, between the Children of the Law of One and the Sons of Belial.
These enslaved creatures were not robots -, but the offspring of humans and animals referred to earlier. The parallel with American slavery should be obvious.
The conflict between the two factions escalated until Atlantis was tom apart literally as well as figuratively.
With the continued disregard of those who were keeping the pure race and the pure peoples ... man brought in the destructive forces as used for the peoples that were to be the rule, that combined with those natural resources of the gases, of the electrical forces, made in nature and natural form the first of the eruptions that awoke from the depth of the slow cooling earth, and that portion now near what would be termed the Sargasso Sea first went into the depths. With this, there again came that egress of peoples... Hence we find in various portions of the world, even today, some form of that as WAS presented by those peoples in THAT great DEVELOPMENT in this. the Eden of the world. [363-4]
According to Cayce, Atlantis actually sank in stages, Poseidia being one of the portions to disappear. This is the Atlantis recorded by Plato, he says. Naming an island for Poseidon is a natural move given that god's prominent role in the Critias. In fact, the name "Poseidonis" is found in Leadbeater, Scott-Elliot, and Oliver. (300)
For Cayce, Atlantis is of more than merely academic significance. First. With the coming geological cataclysms, parts of Atlantis are due to rise again from the ocean: "And Poseidia will be among the first portions of Atlantis to rise again. Expect it in sixty-eight or sixty-nine--not so far away!" (958-3). Second, many Atlanteans are presently reincarnating since their former misuse of technology required them to be reborn in a world where they could face the same choices again and perhaps make better decisions this time around (364-1).
The idea of a Pacific counterpart of Atlantis originated with Ernst Haeckel, who hypothesized that lemurs might have migrated from mainland Asia to the various islands of the Malay Archipelago using a landbridge, thereby accounting for their widespread distribution. This hypothetical landmass was whimsically dubbed "Lemuria" by his colleague, P.L. Sclater. Sclater's joke goes largely unappreciated by modem readers--it alludes to the fact that before "lemur" came to be used for the diminutive primate by that name, the word referred to the zombie-like wraiths of popular Roman religion which had to be propitiated through special festivals in their honor, called Lemuria. Haekel eventually changed his mind about the need to invoke such a landbridge. Still, by then the idea--and name--of Lemuria had become popularized by Augustus le Plongeon (who made the connection with Central America), by Theosophy (which made it the home of the third root-race), and later by James Churchward (1852-1936) in his five Mu books. While "Mu" might appear to be a contraction of "Lemuria simply," le Plongeon traces it to one Queen Moo of the Yucatan. (301)
Cayce refers to Lemuria or Mu (the latter being one of three island remnants of the former in his usage) but does not give us very much detail. According to the readings, at least some of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel made it to the New World--not over the Atlantic, as one might expect, but by way of Lemuria, in the Pacific:
The joining in the activities there were for the attempts to establish with those peoples that had been a portion of the lost or strayed tribe that came across from Lemuria; as well as with those that came from the lands of bondage by the Persians and those that were later called the Indo-Chinans--or those peoples from the mountain who raided the Indian land. There the entity aided in establishing a new unison of activity, in what would now be called the Arizona land- [1434-1]
The idea of tracing the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel to the New World dates back to the Spanish conquistadores (e.g., Diego de Landa, Bishop of Yucatan); however, the source most likely to have influenced Cayce is the Book of Mormon. Like Cayce, the Book of Mormon asserts that the Lost Ten Tribes sailed to America by way of the Pacific, not the Atlantic. Led by the prophet Lehi, these hardy souls first made a caravan journey to the Indian Ocean then sailed for the west coast of North America (I Nephi 16-18). While the Book of Mormon does not mention Lemuria, the notion of an eastward journey from Palestine to America is too bizarre a detail to be attributed to chance.
In several readings (e.g., 5750- 1), Cayce refers to a land called "Oz" or "Og," which he locates in the vicinity of Peru during the Atlantean period. Like Mu, Oz is described as one of three island remnants of Lemuria, and its name represents more than an occasion for humor.
Lyman Frank Baum, a Theosophist, published his
fourteen Oz books over the first few decades of the twentieth century,
beginning with The Wizard of Oz (1900). A theatrical version
of The Wizard of Oz premiered in 1902 and was quite
successful. The film version starring Judy Garland came out in 1938, riding a
wave of popularity generated by the theatrical tours. While Cayce does not say
much about Oz, the flavor of Baum's novels curiously resembles Cayce's account
of Atlantis and Lemuria-human/animal hybrids, fabulous cities in a strange
hidden realm, magical battles between good and evil, and so on. Devlin points
out that just as Cayce named Oz and Mu as neighboring civilizations, so did
Baum in Scarecrow of Oz say the same of Oz and Mo. (302)
D. Predynastic Egypt
In modem times, popular European interest in Egyptology was initially sparked by scholars and artists associated with the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt (1798-1801). The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 and deciphered in the 1820s by Jean-Francois Champollion. By the late nineteenth century, several museums in Europe and the United States boasted collections of Egyptian artifacts. Wallis-Budge published several works during this period. The most widely-read was his translation of The Book of Going Forth By Day under the apparently more marketable title, The Egyptian Book of the Dead (1897). Fake papyri-bearing Egyptian hieroglyphics drawn from this text were widely available in nineteenth-century America, as were patent medicines made from mummy cloth. The discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 attracted considerable public interest--not only in the historical and artistic value of the find but also in legends to the effect that its discovers had incurred a curse upon themselves for disturbing "King Tut." Freemasons, Mormons, and Theosophists have particularly enchanted with Egyptian lore whose antiquity and prestige they sought to claim their own esoteric traditions.
Cayce joins Donnelly and Scott-Elliot in having refugees from the sinking of Atlantis settle ancient Egypt, Central America, and other places in the area:
... in the Atlantean land, during those periods, particularly when there was the exodus from Atlantis owing to the foretelling or foreordination of those activities bringing about the destructive forces. There we find the entity was among those who were not only in what is now known as the Yucatan land. but also the Pyrenees and the Egyptians. [1859-1]
Naturally, the people who were already living in those places resisted this influx. Matters were not helped by the fact that the Sons of Belial tended to regard native populations as being similar in status to the "automatons" or "things" they had brought with them from Atlantis (281-43). And so, the Sons of the Law of One and the Sons of Belial carried their conflict to new battlegrounds.
In Egypt, a religious leader named Ra Ta (one of Cayce's previous incarnations) managed to negotiate a political settlement between the Atlantean refugees and the native Egyptians (294-148). (Ra Ta was neither an Atlantean nor a native Egyptian but had led a previous group of invaders from the Caucasus.) In addition, he addressed the problem of humans with animal appendages by establishing two temples, the Temple of Sacrifice and the Temple Beautiful. The former was a place of physical healing, as these beings had feathers, body hair, nails, claws, and other animal protuberances removed (294-8). The latter was devoted to spiritual healing using music, dance, and light (281-25). Other temples which were eventually constructed include the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of Records, and the Temple of Initiation.
Being a follower of the Law of One, Ra Ta tried to do away with the native Egyptian custom of housing men and women in separate lodges (with mating arranged by decree of the royal household) and replace it with state-legislated monogamy. Unfortunately, despite his beliefs, he found himself unable to adhere to the standard he had set. When a dancer named Iris (Gertrude Cayce) became pregnant with his child Iso (Gladys Davis), the result was political turmoil, with Ra Ta forced into exile by the Sons of Belial (294-149). "Richard Roche" and Stephan A. Schwartz both point out the similarities between the Ra Ta story and the myth of Isis, Osiris, and Horus from Plutarch's De Iside et Osiride (CHS. 12-19), with Cayce's rebellious Prince Ralij of Ibex standing in for Typhon or Set. Schwartz additionally names Herodotus and Solon as sources, and Roche points to Diodorus Siculus's account of Dionysius. (303)
After many misadventures, RaTa eventually returned to power. He then commissioned a mysterious figure named Hermes to build a monument which would record the accumulated wisdom of his culture--the Great Pyramid:
In the information as respecting the pyramids and their purpose in the experience of the peoples, in the period when there was the rebuilding of the priest during the return in the land, some 10,500 years before the coming of Christ into the land, there was first that attempt to restore and add to that which had already been begun on what is called the Sphinx. The treasure or storehouse facing same, between this and the Nile, those records were kept by Arart and Araaraat in the period.
Then, with Hermes and Ra ... there began the building of that now called Gizeh ... that was to be the hall of the initiates of that sometimes referred to as the White Brotherhood...
In this same Pyramid did the Great Initiate the Master, take those last of the Brotherhood degrees with John, the forerunner of Him, at that place. As is indicated in that period where the entrance is shown to that land that was set apart, as that promised to that peculiar peoples, as were rejected--as is shown in that portion when there is a turning back from raising of Xerxes, as the deliverer from an unknown tongue or land, and again is there seen that this occurs in the entrance of the Messiah in this period-1998. [5748-5]
The idea that occult initiations were conducted somewhere in the vicinity of Giza is an old Theosophical one. Leadbeater names Tehutui or Thoth. "called Hermes," as the architect of the Great Pyramid. (304) For Leadbeater, what appears on the surface to be animal worship actually conceals profound esoteric mysteries, as in the Book of the Dead. The ancient Egyptians, he says—developed levels of lesser and greater mysteries corresponding to those of modem Freemasonry. Cayce appears to have taken part in Jesus' initiation from the Aquarian Gospel (see. XI) or it's derivative in H. Spencer Lewis. (305) Lewis even anticipates Cayce's references to a doorway between the paws of the Sphinx leading to subterranean passages. (306) Roche (1975: 44) points out that the idea of tunnels under the Sphinx is found in Iamblichus, who connects them with the Egyptian mysteries.
In Cayce's account, Ra Ta (appropriately enough, a Caucasian) has had white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. While this description is unlikely from the point of view of conventional Egyptology, the notion that white people were present in ancient Egypt is confirmed by Spalding, who credits them with the glories of Egyptian civilization. Modern readers can hardly avoid noticing that Spalding has the unfortunate habit of linking spiritual purity with the lightness of skin complexion. Consider the following:
These people [the ancient Egyptians] were the pure white race and were always known as the Israelites, of whom the Hebrew race is a division. Thoth ruled wisely and attempted to maintain the Osirian teachings, but, after his day, the dark and material concept crept in, as the Egyptian or dark hordes from the south. who had swept him into power, gained sway. The succeeding dynasties fell away from Osirian teachings. gradually took up the dark concept of the dark race and finally practiced black magic entirely. (307)
Cayce, for his part, hails the period of Ra Ta as one of a "change of the race to become--and is now--the white. Hence, as Ra Ta means and indicates, among--or the first PURE white in the experience then of the earth..." (294-147). H. Spencer Lewis agrees that the ancient Egyptians were Aryans and argues based on Matthew 4:15 ("Galilee of the Gentiles") that Galileans were Aryans to claim Jesus as a member of the Aryan race. (308)
Cayce claims that the structure of the Great Pyramid records--or prophecies--every significant spiritual event throughout history:
All changes that came in the religious thought in the world are shown there, in the variations in which the passage through same is reached, from the base to the top--of the open tomb AND the top. These are signified both by the layer and the color in what direction the turn is made. [5748-5]
The notion of "pyramid prophecy" can be traced back to the writings of John Taylor. author of The Great Pyramid.- Why Was It Built and Who Built It? (1859); and Charles Piazzi Smyth, author of Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1877). According to Smyth, it would be wrong to interpret the Great Pyramid as the work of heathens-" We find in all its finished parts not a vestige of heathenism, nor the smallest indulgence in anything approaching idolatry." he writes. (309) Instead, the Great Pyramid is a repository for the divine wisdom of the ages. Three "keys" provide a sort of Rosette Stone capable of translating the Pyramid's geometry into spiritual truths: mathematics, natural science, and the Bible. For example, we learn that the ratio of the pyramid's height to twice one of the base segments equals I: 3.14159; that the pyramid stands at the geometric center of the world's landmass; and that the various twists and turns in the Great Hall record all the great spiritual events in history from the seven days of creation to the birth of Christ and on to the end of time, which was scheduled to occur sometime between 1881 and 1944. All calculations are based on something called the pyramid inch. According to Smyth, it must be assumed since it is the only unit of measurement capable of revealing all these exact geometrical correspondences. Skeptics point to the impossibility of reconstructing the exact dimensions of the Great Pyramid once Napoleon's soldiers stripped it of its limestone casing.
A multitude of later pyramidologists continued ideas begun by Taylor and Smyth. Cayce is asked about a work entitled The Great Pyramid by D. Davidson and H. Aldersmith. He evaluates as follows: "Many of these that have been taken as deductions are correct. Many are far overdrawn. Only an initiate may understand" (5748-5). The work in question centers around predictions of the coming "period of chaos" (expected to last between 1928 and 1936) followed by a period of "judgment" (1936 to 1953). Cayce speaks of such periods, with 1936 being one of several turning points mentioned.
Following is the overview of the other parts in this major case study whereby underneath you will see the footnotes in reference to the above section:
Cayce's ability (whatever its nature) to effortlessly absorb books' contents makes it seem inevitable that Cayce would have attempted to acquire religious knowledge in this way. The day after he arrived in Hopkinsville, Cayce searched for a town-based job and found one with E.H. Hopper & Son Bookstore, which from 1874 to 1913 also housed Hopkinsville's collection of public library books. There "seemed to be something appealing" about the bookstore, and Cayce recalls that "the several years I remained there seemed to be the stepping stones: yea. even the door to life itself." without explaining why, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 1.
Robert Smith claimed that if Cayce did meet President Wilson, however, he was never told of this and suggested that he had confused Wilson with a cousin of the president's for whom Cayce did, in fact, give readings. Also, several of Cayce's partners and associates in the several oil ventures were clearly promoters of dubious character. The question must be asked whether Cayce himself should be considered one as well rather than simply as an innocent pawn of others, as ARE literature suggests. That Cayce no less than Kahn was an active participant in what came to be known simply as "the proposition" is illustrated by his travels to "New Orleans, Jackson, Memphis, Denver, all over Texas, St. Louis, Chicago. Indianapolis, Cincinnati- Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Florida.," as well as Columbus. Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and New York City. In any case, what began as a search for oil and then for oil investors around 1922 blurred into a direct search for hospital donors. Allies in Birmingham, New York, and Chicago all indicated a willingness to raise money for the venture, provided it would be located in their respective cities. The readings, however, indicated the Norfolk area, apparently for spiritual and karmic reasons, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 2.
Attempts to pinpoint Cayce's religious heritage are inevitably contentious given the strong feelings of so many people who seek to claim (or reject) him as a representative of their own beliefs. Christian-oriented Cayceans such as Bro stress the Christian basis of his teachings while asleep and active church life while awake over the objections of Christian opponents of Cayce, who emphasize his many departures from mainstream Christian doctrine. New Agers note Cayce's use of language and ideas consistent with various Western esoteric traditions; simultaneously, Christian-oriented Cayceans point to his efforts to distance himself from Spiritualism and occultism. There is something to be said in favor of all of these perspectives. I propose to call Cayce a syncretizer since this brings out the diversity of his sources and suggests fruitful link's with other turn-of-the-century syncretizers.- In 1906, a test was arranged for Cayce in which he would give a reading for a patient chosen for him before a large audience of visiting physicians. However, when the reading proved accurate, members of the audience stormed up to him while he still lay in a trance and began conducting impromptu tests to see if he really was under hypnosis. One doctor peeled back one of his fingernails, while another stuck a hatpin through his face-common stunts in stage hypnosis at the time. Cayce did not flinch but later awoke in great pain. As a result of this experience, he resolved to stop trying to convince skeptics and give readings only for those who genuinely wanted his help. To Cayceans, the incident illustrates the limitations of a formal scientific or scholarly approach to the readings, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 3.
The usual approach to the readings also ignores the passage of time. Readings from different decades are quoted alongside one another typically (due to the nature of the ARE's citation style for readings extracts) with no indication of when they were delivered. Yet, a certain evolution can be observed in the content and tone of the readings over the five decades of Cayce's psychic career, which becomes lost whenever readings from different periods are lumped together the indiscriminately.-The chronic problem is that those aspects of Cayce which manage to find their way into popular publication are those which match the needs and mores of the Cayce movement. These are often arbitrarily or ideologically chosen, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 4.
In the course of surveying the history and teachings of the Cayce movement, it is easy to lose sight of the experience of its participants. After all, Cayceans are typically less interested in studying the origins of their institutions than in contemplating the possibility of deeper levels to the universe and themselves or in changing their lives to reflect more of spiritual orientation. How these aspirations are expressed are numerous, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 5.
Today, the ARE's request that study groups collect contributions seems to be practiced regularly when not disregarded altogether. Of the groups I have attended, only the one at ARE headquarters solicited donations each week, with one dollar appearing to be the standard per capita contribution.- A democratic ARE (to the extent that such a thing is even conceivable) might easily prove even more anti-intellectual and personality-driven than its present incarnation. At the same time, the example of the Swedenborg Foundation demonstrates that it is possible to combine academic respectability (recent monographs have dealt with D.T. Suzuki. Henri Corbin and Kant) with at least nominal democratic safeguards (e.g., proxy voting). A key difference is that the various Swedenborgian churches are institutionally separate from the Swedenborg Foundation- whereas the ARE combines both of these functions and many more, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 6.
Some leave when they do not find their vision reflected, complaining about the politics of Virginia Beach. Others accommodate themselves to a framework with which they are not entirely comfortable or become outspoken in their attempts to change the organization. The ARE leadership presently incorporates several distinct visions--some complementary, some not. The organization is sufficiently decentralized to keep these visions in a sort of equilibrium based partially on inertia (once a given program is started, it will probably be continued) and partially because most Cayceans have multiple interests concerning the readings. However, skeptical or scholarly approaches are definitely a minority interest within the ARE. They are almost wholly unrepresented within those functions that have the greatest capacity for influencing the Caycean masses (e.g., study groups, publishing, or conferences). -An object of ARE charity really a public relations activity, a disguised form of product development, or an expression of a liberal theological identity (against those Southern Protestant denominations that are perceived as anti-scientific). Inquiries into the source question have lacked the necessary connections for the first category, are not particularly well-suited to the second or third, and work at cross-purposes to the fourth by giving comfort to the ARE's enemies. The result is that Cayce's research has proceeded for half a century now without much appreciation of the Cayce movement's forebears, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 7.
Edgar Cayce's readings are full of Masonic allusions- Cayce refers to Jesus's initiation through a series of degrees in Egypt. Besides the obviously Masonic concepts of initiation and degrees, turn-of-the-century Freemasonry often wrapped biblical themes in ancient Egyptian motifs, following the pattern set by Cagliostro. In addition, Cayce sees geometry as containing deep spiritual insights, a quintessentially Masonic notion. The letter "G" in the Masonic symbol is sometimes said to stand for "geometry," although American Masons usually interpret it as standing for "God." The Royal Arch degree, known as the "Knight of East and West," even uses the symbolism of the Book of Revelation in an initiatory context, as does Cayce, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 8.
During his lifetime, Cayce was widely assumed to have some connection with Spiritualism, as illustrated by this 1930 headline from the Baltimore Sun: "Spiritualist Research Aim of Atlantic University." (177) Observers of Cayce had good reason to associate him with Spiritualism, since Cayce's practice of medical clairvoyance was known from the Spiritualist movement (Edgar Cayce would also subsequently claim to have become a reader of the “Akashic Records"), continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 9.
Like Blavatsky, Cayce, too would report being visited by a being wearing white robes and a turban. Several of Cayce's friends had an interest in Theosophy, including Arthur Lammers and Morton Blumenthal, and while awake, Cayce spoke before at least one Theosophical Society meeting (in Birmingham, Alabama), continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 10.
The Cayce readings refer to New Thought denominations from time to time; 3063-1 recommends "Divine Science, Unity, or Christian Science; provided they do not require that the body be kept from making those administrations for the physical and mental self." Except for Christian Science, Cayce appears to regard these movements favorably, without any of the qualifications which inevitably accompany his praise of other religious movements such as Spiritualism or Theosophy. Today, ARE functions bear more than a passing resemblance to New Thought services, and many ARE conferences and retreats are held in Unity churches and the like. A retreat jointly sponsored by Unity and ARE was held at Unity Village in 1996 after several previous ARE events. (Charles Thomas Cayce met his eventual wife, Leslie Goodman Cayce, at just such an occasion.) The ARE Library has acquired the Metaphysical Society of San Francisco, established by Homes of Truth founder Annie Rix Militz, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 11.
The outlines of the "proto-New Age" should be clear enough now. Around the turn of the century, several spiritual leaders and movements whose teachings mixed themes from Spiritualism, Theosophy. New Thought, and alternative health. They emphasized reincarnation, astrology, and psychic phenomena and spoke of Atlantis, ancient Egypt, the Essenes- and Jesus's Journey to India. They endorsed alternative health practices (often naturopathic ones). They accepted a view of human anatomy which merged the chakras and nadis of Indian lore with the glandular and nervous systems of the Western fore. Many (though by no means all) 'incorporated racist or anti-Semitic beliefs into their spiritual systems. It is here that we should take for Cayce's closest theological relatives.-Despite Cayce's reluctance to endorse it, the teachings of The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 12.
Cayce's psychological or spiritual interpretation of the fourth dimension and the explanation was given, consistent with Ouspensky's explanation in Tertium Organum. Although Cayce's division of human nature and the universe into three levels seems natural, it represents a departure from most other Western esoteric traditions and comes closest to that of Rudolf Steiner, continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 13.
The readings claim that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were affiliated with an Essene community based on Mount Carmel, which was a continuation of a "school of the prophets" begun by Elijah, Elisha, Samuel, and ultimately Melchizedek (254-109). The Essenes are not mentioned in the Bible. Yet Several occult gospels confirmed that Jesus had been a member of the Essenes and the Great White Brotherhood.
The notion that Jesus had spent his "lost years" wandering Asia by no means originated with Cayce. Its first proponent seems to have been the Russian war correspondent Nicholas Notovitch (1858-c. 1916), who describes his travels in British India in work entitled La Vie Inconnue de Jesus-Christ (The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ), published in 1894. But as we pointed out early on is seen to be a fraud. Continue in Edgar Cayce's Secret, Part 15.
283. H.P. Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine, vol. 11. pp. 6-9.
284. Ibid., vol. 11, pp. 107-108.
285. Ibid., vol. II, p. 426.
286. Ibid., vol. 11, p. 329.
287. Ibid., vol. 11, pp. 132-133.
288. Ibid., vol. II, p. 192.
289. Ibid., vol. II, pp. 184-185.
290. Although these are usually identified with the Strait of Gibraltar, it has been suggested that Plato intended a location in the Aegean by that name.
291. Eberhard Zangger suggests this theory in The Flood From Heaven. However, the parallels between the stories of the fall of Atlantis and Troy need not imply that both myths are rooted in actual history, as Zangger argues.
292. W. Scott-Elliot, The Story of Atlantis & Lost Lemuria, p. 46.
293. Ibid., p. 27.
294. Ibid.. p. 34.
295. bid., p. 6.
296. Frederick Spencer Oliver, A Dweller On Two Planets, p. 188.
297. Ibid., p. 63
298. H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence,p. 51. In reality, the Dugpa or Drukpa ("dragon people" or "Bhutanese") are a subdivision of the Kagyupa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Blavatsky's description of them bears little relationship with reality.
299. Curiously enough, a similar idea is found in the Qumran War Scroll (also known as The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness), which even refers to "the army of Belial." Cayce could not possibly have read this text, although both Cayce and the author of the War Scroll might easily have independently chosen similar appropriations of the biblical references.
300. C.W. Leadbeater, Ancient Mystic Rites, p. 16: W. Scott-Elliot. The Story of Atlantis & Lost Lemuria,p. 28: Frederick Spencer Oliver, A Dweller On Two Planets,p. 42.
301. In L. Sprague de Camp, Lost Continents, p. 44.
302. Mary Devlin, "The Great Cosmic Fairy Tale," p. 31.
303. Richard Roche, Egyptian Myths and the Ra Ta Story, p. 10 ff.: Stephan A. Schwartz, "The Canadian and the Seer's Son."
304. C.W. Leadbeater, Ancient Mystic Rites, p. 17.
305. H. Spencer Lewis, Symbolic Prophecy of the Great Pyramid, p. 196 ff.
306. Ibid. p. 206 ff.
307. Baird T. Spalding, Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, vol. II, pp. 12-13.
308. H. Spencer Lewis, Symbolic Prophecy of the Great Pyramid, p. 53 ff).
309. Charles Piazzi-Smyth, Our Inheritance In the Great Pyramid, p. 5.